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UK Children’s Hospice Staff Conference to demonstrate leading assistive technologies

by Tracy Williams

On Wednesday 4 March 2020, the UK charity Lifelites, held their sell-out Children’s Hospice Staff Conference in Birmingham to showcase the latest assistive technology that Lifelites donates to life-limited and disabled children using every children’s hospice service across the British Isles.

Lifelites has donated technology packages to children’s hospice services for the past 20 years, including vital training to children’s hospice service staff on how to use the life-changing technology.

The assistive technology that Lifelites presented at the conference included Eyegaze, an eye tracking technology that enables disabled children to paint pictures, play games, write and communicate just by using their eyes. This technology is life-changing for children who struggle to communicate with their family and their caregivers because of their conditions.

Other technology includes the Mobile Magic Carpet, which projects interactive games and moving images onto the floor, wall, ceiling, and other surfaces. The Mobile Magic Carpet gives children in wheelchairs a chance to kick piles of virtual leaves, play football with their brothers and sisters using a ball made of light, and paddle in a virtual fish pond. The Mobile Magic Carpet includes 500 apps where life-limited and disabled children can bring the outside world in, to their hospice rooms, on their tray table, and even onto their bed.

Hospice staff were also shown the Lifelites Virtual Reality bundle, which gives life-limited and disabled children the chance to fly over Paris, swim with turtles, or walk in the snow and camp around a bonfire.

The Lifelites Children’s Hospice Staff Conference would not have been possible without the support of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) who sponsored the event.

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said, “It is wonderful that so many children’s hospice staff from across the British Isles joined us at our 2020 conference eager to learn about the inclusive and adaptive technology we donate for life-limited and disabled children using their services. The wide range of equipment is specially adapted so that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their ability. Every moment is precious for these children and their families, and this technology gives them the opportunity they deserve to make the most of their time together.

“We couldn’t have held this conference if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, especially the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Inclusive Technology. So for this, we are incredibly grateful.”

Lifelites has been donating life-changing packages of technology for 20 years, and are currently supporting every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. Lifelites’ aim is to continue to provide new technology and ongoing support to ensure that disabled and life-limited children have a chance to escape the confines of their conditions.

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